You can see from the little squiggle on the Port Costa route map that I made a slight detour from my planned loop.
Here’s what happened:
Noticing the sign “Martinez” as I entered town caused a little voice deep inside my head to say clearly: “Martinez is known for something...?”
It took a few blocks of me pondering, “Martinez, Martinez” and then it struck me — John Muir’s House is in Martinez!
I stopped to ask directions and it was easy enough to find. I went a few miles south on Alhambra Avenue toward Highway 4 and there it was on the right, just past a Vietnamese nail salon and a Subway sandwich shop.
John Muir is one of my all-time heroes. He’s up there with Bodhidharma, Gandhi, Emerson, Thoreau, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, Ed Abbey, Aldo Leopold, Cabeza de Vaca, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Whitman, Muhammad Ali, and Velocio.
So I was a little disappointed the historic landmark was closed for the day when I arrived. I just peered in, past the parking lot gate. The place felt a bit sad and ironic, surrounded by its suburban infrastructure.
Even in his day, Muir was not entirely happy in Martinez, so far from the cheerful water ouzel and his beloved High Sierra.